Intensity is the biggest factor to training program success. Intensity needs to be right for you to achieve your goal.
Do not work through pain (there is a significant difference between discomfort from exercise and actual pain). Improve your movement patterns to avoid pain and train the non-painful movement patterns at present. Add in exercises that will help reduce stress – yoga, pilates, meditation, abdominal breathing exercises. Recovery sessions are essential – learn how to foam roll properly, get a sports massage regularly.
Work out where your dysfunctions are – tight muscles, weak muscles, muscles that lack activation, right and left asymmetries. Work on improving these areas to improve overall movement patterns, efficiency and reduce the likelihood of an injury/set back.
If you are training hard – 5-6 times a week at a high intensity, it is important to cycle in a recovery week every 5-6 weeks. During this week you would drop off the intensity and concentrate more on foam rolling, stability, flexibility, mobility etc.
It will make you a strong, lean fat burning machine. Not lifting weights will make you frail and skinny-fat. Lift as heavy as you can manage for 15-20 repetitions. Do it in a circuit formation, so maybe 1 minute of:
2. Press ups
3. Suspension Trainer Inverted rows
4. Walking Lunges
Work form before intensity. Work to your limit in good form. Once form goes, thats a cue to stop.
Nutrition is number one!! Eat well and you are on the right track straight away. Eat rubbish and you will find it very hard progress anywhere.
A good post workout meal, 7-8 hours of sleep, stress reduction, and quality soft tissue work are an essential part of a balanced program.
Perform isometric stabilisation exercises to start. Plank, side plank, 4 point vacuum etc. Then progress into stabilising spine whilst moving – Birdogs, Hand plank with leg and arm lifts. then progress to bigger movements still like wood chops and front squats. If you are performing these with true spinal stabilisation you will get an amazing core workout.
If you want results, you have to work for them. You have to push your body to new levels all the time. You have to shock it into adapting to the stimulus you are creating. Steady State exercise will not do this efficiently. Plus for all those people who use time as an excuse (pretty much everyone), then High Intensity Intervals will cut your workout time down.
Make sure you are progressing sensibly week on week. Adjust your training protocols to increase intensity, through weight lifted, sets performed, reps performed, speed travelling, resistance, incline, etc.
If you have a busy week, can’t get to the gym, are going on holiday, have friends staying, make sure you have planned for it. Whether it be to have a home training program ready to follow, adjust your nutrition accordingly, plan it in as your recovery week etc.
Richard Green PT is offering to help you on your quest for your ultimate goal. If you want help creating a program, whether it be a 6 week or a year plan, please contact him for further information and to make that change you’ve always wanted.